Yesterday, Secretary Clinton met with Czech Republic Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country currently holds the Presidency of the European Union. Following remarks, they took questions from the press on Iran, North Korea and missile defense.
Secretary Clinton said: "The minister and I just had a wide-ranging, good discussion about global, European, and bilateral issues. The Czech Republic is an important ally of the United States and, of course, our two nations share a strong commitment to defense, development, and human rights. And we are dedicated to strengthening our transatlantic alliance. I also welcomed the foreign minister in his current European Union presidency role. The U.S. and Europe have great responsibilities in the world, especially at this time of global challenges and opportunities. And the United States appreciates Czech leadership on such key issues as Afghanistan, energy security, and the Middle East.
It was also a pleasure for me to particularly thank the Czech Republic for being at the forefront of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, with a commitment of 500 troops and leadership of the Logar Provincial Reconstruction Team. Europe and the United States, the Czech Republic and the United States, we have a big, important agenda before us. And I’m confident, as I told the minister, that our shared values, our common objectives, our commitment to freedom will continue to strengthen and deepen our partnership."
When asked about Iran, Secretary Clinton said: “We have been very clear that, as the Vice President discussed in Munich over the weekend, as the President said again last night, there is an opportunity for the Iranian Government to demonstrate a willingness to unclench their fist and to begin a serious and responsible discussion about a range of matters.
We still persist in our view that Iran should not obtain nuclear weapons, that it would be a very unfortunate course for them to pursue. And we hope that there will be opportunities in the future for us to develop a better understanding of one another and to work out a way of talking that would produce positive results for the people of Iran.”